The Florida Department of Transportation could be losing trust from local citizens.

That’s because representatives from the state road department have been promising for months that the short stretch of Highway 90 construction in front of Kmart and Pensacola State College in Milton would be done. But the project has been dragging on now three months over their original proposed completion date told to the Press Gazette by an FDOT representative.

The project is part of the Avalon Boulevard widening project according to Tanya Branton who works with side-by-side with Ian Satter at the District 3 department of FDOT.

According to Branton, the entire Avalon Boulevard project was originally scheduled to be completed by August 2012, but is now being pushed back to January 2013.

Time and time again, FDOT has pushed back the completion date on the Highway 90 portion of the Avalon project itself. Originally promised to be complete in June 2012 (according to Satter), Branton said there is not even, and never was a set completion date for the Highway 90 construction in front of PSC and Kmart.

Panhandle Grading and Paving Inc., a Pensacola based construction company, is working on the Highway 90 portion of the Avalon Boulevard project.

The project is aiming to extend turn lanes both onto Avalon, into the PSC campus and add a turn lane into Lou Sobh’s Chevrolet dealership.

“We were asking the (Panhandle Grading and Paving) project manager about updates on that work on Highway 90, and the project manager would tell us (it would be completed) in a couple weeks,” Branton said.

Branton said that there was never an original completion date for the Highway 90 portion of the Avalon project and said she didn’t know why the Press Gazette was being relayed incorrect completion dates for the project.

Originally, Satter told the Press Gazette that the project was supposed to be completed at the beginning of June. That was told to the Press Gazette back in May (when the project started).

Satter told the Press Gazette back in July that he didn’t even have a timetable for the Highway 90 portion of the Avalon Boulevard project. Back in June, Satter contributed the delay on the Highway 90 project to rain. But he also told the Press Gazette on June 23 that the project would “be completed within the coming weeks.”

Branton said the information on completion dates is contributed to what contractors tell them.

Satter originally told the Press Gazette in May that the project on Highway 90 would be completed at the same time crews opened up the southbound lanes of Avalon Boulevard to the CSX railroad bridge. The southbound lanes on Avalon Boulevard to the CSX
Railroad Bridge were opened at the beginning of August.

In the last article about the Highway 90 project, Satter told the Press Gazette that the project would be completed by the fall (last Saturday), but crews have yet to finish the project. According to Branton, citizens may never know when the project will be done, but can be assured it will be done by January 2013, the completion date for the entire Avalon Boulevard project.

Mike Long, the project manager for the Avalon Boulevard project with Panhandle Grading and Paving said that there have never been completion dates for particular sections of the Avalon Boulevard project. What they relay to FDOT are just projections.

“We don’t have completion dates on particular phases of a project, just the overall completion date of the project,” Long said.

Branton said that she spoke with the project manager to confirm that the information being sent to the Press Gazette was correct.

She also confirmed that there was never a completion date for only the Highway 90 portion of the Avalon Boulevard project.

“Right now, they (Panhandle Grading and Paving) are focusing their efforts on the entrance to PSC, and working on curb, gutter and sidewalk work,” Branton said. “Right now, this project is on schedule.

Satter was not available for comment by press time. Branton said that he would return to the office on Wednesday.